Fascinated by synthetic biology, we also wanted to shoulder the responsibility of promoting and popularizing synthetic biology, and to understand public opinions. More importantly, we hoped that individuals of all ages especially young spirits could feel the charm of synthetic biology, sowing seeds of interest and growing towering trees in the future. We went to several communities and schools for synthetic biology promotion, and we have received plenty positive responses and best wishes.
ECUST iGEM club
To promote synthetic biology, ECUST-iGEMers established a community called ECUST-Lab in 2017. We provided a passionate speech about our club and project to freshmen on the Club Night. The Club hold workshops twice a week, in which we gathered together to discuss literatures on synthetic biology or previous iGEM projects and shared our views with each other. Meanwhile, project progress and former teams’ project interpretations were put on WeChat and INS, making synthetic biology readily accessible.
Figure 1. iGEM club parties in ECUST in 2018.12 and 2019.9
We recorded daily life of our team members and made propaganda videos, which is not only an experience in summer, but also the motivation of the juniors and precious memories.
Figure 2. ECUST iGEM account on Instagram and Wechat
Bernard Shaw once said: “life is not a short candle, but a torch that we hold temporarily; we should burn it brightly, and then give it to the next generation.” Hoping that our next generation could grow interest in synthetic biology, we volunteered teaching in several primary schools.
In August, we went to schools in Zhejiang Province of China to present synthetic biology and our project. In order to strengthen the concept of bacteria and microorganisms better, we brought culture dishes with extreme care. As soon as the culture dish shown, attentions of all students were drawn.
We popularized the relevant knowledge about cultivation and growth of microorganisms, so that students could get a whole picture of what microorganisms are and what they can do. Besides, students there raised a lot of interesting questions which set us thinking more about our experiments and safety issues.
Figure 3. On the left, Wang Shaohui teaching pupils science about microbiology, on the right, Liu Xv holding a class meeting
Our team members visualized the "synthesis" of synthetic biology with the classic elements and triggered heated discussions. We also watched some great fiction movies like GATTACA, and then we mentioned some effects of genetic modifications as well as our hope for the world to be a better one for the application of synthetic biology.
Apart from Zhejiang province, we also went Zhelin School in Fengxia district of Shanghai, with the students there, we used waste paper to make beautiful DIY and promoted waste classification along with the relative regulations recently carried out in Shanghai.
Figure 4. On 2019/8/15 in Zhelin School, pupils handmaking on the left, and raising questions on the right
This experience will serve as a constant reminder for us to never forget our original inspirations in scientific research and to find happiness no matter how hard the path can be.
Figure 5. Our team members and Tiantai students taking a photo together
At the same time, we also popularized the knowledge of waste paper recycling and introduced our project to the nearby communities and in our campus. Our team members used waste paper to make beautiful DIY, enhancing students' awareness of recycling and waste classification.
In order to promote the recycling of waste paper, we went into the schools and communities to propagate the benefits of waste paper recycling and waste classification, which also received high praises from the masses.
Figure 6. Campus promotion activities in ECUST on 2019/3/5
Figure 7. Waste classification promotion in Hitom Community and Lingyun Street, Shanghai on 2019/3/18